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Warms Your Heart, Don't It

By - July 26, 2006

Read this lede from Cnet:

The heads of the nation’s two major spy agencies on Wednesday told Congress that it’s impractical to seek warrants before tracking the global phone and Internet activities of groups like al-Qaida and terrorist sympathizers.

Yep, that pesky Constitution: Impractical. Oh, by the way: are you a “sympathizer”? You sure?

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4 thoughts on “Warms Your Heart, Don't It

  1. It may, in fact, be impractical. But, not only is it law is part and parcel of the Bill of Rights, Fourth Amendment if recollection serves.

    I think the 65 mph speed limit is impractical… I still have to face the law if I break it.

  2. MikeM says:

    So we want to extend OUR Bill Of Rights to the subjects of global tracking?
    If terrorists want to talk business about harming us or our interests from phones on our shores or off shore and we have the ability to listen in with the intent of disabling their planning we damn well better be doing it without warning them in advance! Screw the warrants and let the “Constitutionalists” sort it out later as they sip their brandy.
    This is the real world and it’s a bitch there are people that only live to kill us and our way of life.

  3. Rob says:

    For me the beauty of the Internet is seeing the creation of a global intelligence. For example the Wiki-Wiki-Wiki web is perhaps the first beginnings of a library of the worlds intelligence. A library created by the combined knowledge of mankind for all humanity to access. The democratic and non-commercial nature of this library means that manipulation is reduced.

    Google sees its task as indexing the worlds ‘intelligence’ and offering the most relevant content back to the person seeking ‘intelligence’.

    Therefore every time Google, Yahoo MSN, whoever bend-over to governments that want to manipulate the results i think they at best letting the spirit of humanity down… and at worst they are letting all humanity down.

    The Internet is something that no government currently has definitive power and/or control over. It is human nature for man to want to control it though, as control is power… and one man has always historically sought power over another.

    The people most likely to look for power are those that pursue a political career. Its in their genetic make-up to do this.

    As we are all aware, power is often gained through manipulation, fear, or conflict. These are key tools in any politicians toolkit.

    People need to understand that politicians and governments work for citizens, not citizens for politicians and governments.

    The day that changes is the day freedom dies.

  4. dumbfounder says:

    Freedom doesn’t exist anyways Rob. Are you free to create your own radio station and broadcast it on the FM band? No. Are you free to hop the fence at the White House and run around on the publicly owned lawn? No.

    But anyways, this isn’t about freedom at all, it is about privacy. And it is a gray area. I’m not a big fan of traffic cameras that catch me speeding. Is it a freedom issue? No. Is it a privacy issue? Maybe. Now imagine those cameras take pictures of every car that passes to track people as they drive around the city? I think that is definitely a privacy issue, but is it unconstituional? I don’t know. Same goes for tracking phone calls. Yes, phone calls are made over private networks, but the telecom industry is very highly regulated compared to many others. So does that make it more wrong? I don’t know. It’s just not black and white like people make it out to be. “Freedom” and “privacy” are relative terms.